A tart is a baked dish consisting of a filling over a pastry base with an open top not covered with pastry. The pastry is usually shortcrust pastry; the filling may be sweet or savoury, though modern tarts are usually fruit-based, sometimes with custard.
When you think of homemade pie, what do you imagine? Pies or berries enclosed in pie crust and then baked? A frozen, dairy-filled no-bake dessert more akin to ice cream cake? A cookie crust filled with a fruity, creamy custard? If it’s the latter, let us introduce you to the tart. While technically still in the pie family, tarts are better described as a filled pastry shell in the shape of a pie. They also refer to pastries where (usually savory) ingredients are baked atop puff pastry—think pizza, but flaky and extra fancy. Both varieties are impressive, delicious, and best of all, super easy thanks to a few kitchen shortcuts. Check out our 30 tart recipes that’ll take you from breakfast to dessert for ideas, then grab yourself a tart pan, and get to baking.
The best part about tarts? They’re usually WAY easier to make than the average pie, thanks to shortcuts, hacks, and the natural decorative beauty of fresh produce. Even the most difficult of the bunch (maybe our apple tart, but just because of slicing all those apples!) doesn’t involve making pie dough, chilling pie dough, rolling out pie dough… you know, all those steps putting you off making pie? Instead you make a simple dough (just flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and butter), then press it into your tart pan. Top with fruit and bake—really, that’s it! Our lemon tart, chocolate tart, fruit tart, strawberry tart, and more all have one of these press-in crusts, but you could also try swapping in your favorite cookies or snacks for the crusts too (our lemon coconut tart with coconut in the graham cracker crust or our strawberry pretzel tart with pretzels for the base are both incredible).
Another great shortcut to homemade tarts? Using store-bought puff pastry or crescent rolls. Once you’ve got one or the other, the options for toppings are really endless, and our recipes are infinitely adaptable. This is also where the savory toppings really shine. Simply unfold or unroll your store-bought option, top with your favorite ingredients (fruit, veggies, and cheese are all great), and bake! Check out our tarte tatin, our crescent breakfast tart, our caramel apple tart, or our tomato tart for ideas, then get creative with your toppings. Serve them for an upscale summer appetizer or a side for a romantic outdoor picnic.
Want more easy dessert inspiration? Try our icebox cakes, no-bake desserts, and our quick and easy fruit desserts too.